February 2024 Stop Press:
A planning application by Oxfordshire County Council for a Watlington Relief Road has been submitted. The public consultation for you to have your say closes on 2nd March.
ORAA will publish planning reasons and how and where to object well in advance of the consultation end date. Please check back shortly. The scheme adds road capacity, which is a failed transport policy that does not alleviate congestion for long. Better management of the existing road will reduce delay and congestion without the need to build a new road, especially given the road was ONLY required as mitigation for Chalgrove Airfield, now proposed to be deallocated. Nevertheless, “enabling future housing developments” would be needed to fund the road. We need your help to make the county change tack and avoid accelerating us towards climate breakdown.
What’s happening / being planned?
Watlington Relief Road is a proposed new road through Watlington parish and neighbouring Pyrton parish in South Oxfordshire. The road would be partly funded by £7.1m (2018 estimate) from the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal. Forward funding from the growth deal is conditional that it is clawed back from payments from house builders whose sites are unlocked by the infrastructure forward investment.
The relief road would form part of a new, more attractive strategic route for traffic from the west going to and from the M40, including for HGVs and LGVs. It is expected to ease issues of congestion, noise and air quality in the village but increase traffic along the route. Bus services would continue to serve Watlington high street.
Land for a bypass at Watlington is safeguarded for a “strategic” transport scheme in the current South Oxfordshire Local Plan, justified by the strategic allocation for 3000 houses at Chalgrove Airfield. This is now proposed to be deallocated from the plan. Sections along the route are zoned for housing and would be built by house developers. These have planning permission and are not dependent on the county council completing a relief road. The Council requires more housing development (to that already approved) to fund its sections of the relief road.
The scheme would include the construction of 1.4km of road, two roundabouts and a new crossing of the Chalgrove Brook, chalk stream.